From the first game, Street Fighter X Tekken generously manifests what is expected of this collision of titans: in addition to being a great fighting game, it is an explosive combination . The overwhelming strength of its fighters, its spectacular game mechanics and the tonic of the games are fuel that explodes on the screen with as much ease as forcefulness.
And despite the fact that, as we will see, that dangerous mix came to explode Capcom (and its fans) in full face based on poor decisions, their amazing tag team matches remain a glorious spectacle worthy of the great fighting giants. in video games.
At a time when both Street Fighter and Tekken had made a triumphant return after prolonged absences and very rare appearances, Capcom’s World Warriors and the most iconic participants of the Iron Fist tournament decided to iron out their rough edges by getting knuckled in the process. . Not in a brotherly way, not through competitive rivalry, but eager to show which of the two factions was more powerful.
The result? A wild crossover with very interesting ideas. Although, in fairness, it should have been two.
That we were more than used to seeing crossovers as unexpected as impossible by Capcom did not cushion the brutal blow on the table: taking advantage of the 2010 Comic-Con, producers Yoshinori Ono and Katsuhiro Harada, who had cemented a hilarious rivalry between the fans For fighting games, they announced the development of two new games.
- Street Fighter X Tekken would take the fighters of the Bandai Namco saga to combat in 2D scenarios.
- While in Tekken X Street Fighter the iconic Ryu, Chun Li and company will fight under the formula of the Mishima clan saga.
Logically, that announcement was a spectacle in itself . While both producers had paved the way for a separate big announcement, the performance included an interruption from Harada on the Street Fighter IV panel at the San Diego show giving away copies of Tekken 6 to attendees. The friendship of both Japanese creatives was palpable and their way of generating a strong sense of rivalry between both sagas , too.
They say whoever hits first does it twice, and Capcom took the initiative. For the occasion, the Osaka team started with a later and improved version of the technology used to move Street Fighter IV. In fact, on an aesthetic level, the World Warriors looked much the same, while the Tekken fighters had adapted with remarkable success to the universally known visual style of the Osaka company. Now, the gameplay is typical of Street Fighter X Tekken.
From the first fight you can tell that this is not a Street Fighter IV with a different selection of fighters and a handful of superficial changes. The fighting system had been completely rethought and arranged to offer a different sensation. Not only looking for the balance between both sagas, but also betting on making the most spectacular combats.
And for that, Yoshinori Ono had to open Pandora’s box. Literally.
Street Fighter X Tekken: an absolutely spectacular crossover
A strange box with indecipherable engravings has been found in Antarctica. While attempts are still being made to find out its strange nature, its appearance has unleashed a mysterious wave of violence. Cases have been detected worldwide of individuals who suddenly acquire unimaginable power , becoming more and more aggressive.
A phenomenon that seems to affect the fighters especially and that, logically, has made both Shadaloo and the Mishima Corporation decide to turn their attention to the events taking place at the South Pole. On the other hand, in the midst of that chaos that has begun to unleash globally, two indomitable forces instinctively come to the call of the box: the savage Akuma and the powerful Ogre.
Inevitably, the so-called Pandora’s box causes a knock-on effect among the best fighters in the world for different reasons. Some, like Ryu , are concerned about the parallels of this evil energy with the dark hadou ; while others, like Kazuya and M. Bison, see enormous potential in this discovery.
Which, unsurprisingly, will see Chun Li, Jin Kazama, Guile or Heihashi Mishima heading to Antarctica as well. But, of course, other legends of the rings and street fighting such as Zangief, Blanka, Poison, Bryan Fury, Lilli or Paul Phoenix , they can simply be curious. Something is happening in the most remote corner of the planet and you are not going to wait to be told about it.
In the playable, the first great challenge of Street Fighter X Tekken is to establish a balance between two very different ways of understanding arcade fighting. And, unsurprisingly, being the Capcom version this one sweeps home: the six-button punch and kick scheme as well as the 2D Street Fighter fighting scenarios served as the basis for the game. From there an attempt was made to find an intermediate point.
- The Street Fighter fighters were adapted to tag team matches, but instead of being a single round (as in Marvel vs. Capcom) they opted for the rules of Tekken Tag Tournament: it will be enough to beat a single fighter to decide the victory.
- For its part, each fighter was adjusted individually so that there was a kind of common balance . That is, the World Warriors received combo sequences a la Tekken, while the Bandai Namco characters ranged attacks and anti-air techniques. As well as new settings.
- In addition to this, very original mechanics were added , including a super system based on charges, combined special movements, partner assaults and even a final resource: we can brutally and temporarily sacrifice one fighter to potential the other.
- And if this weren’t enough, a gem system was also introduced, so that setting certain milestones or circumstances activates additional resources that accommodate the active fighter in our unique style.
On paper, tools were established so that all the fighters were in the same conditions. And not only that: one of the greatest triumphs of Street Fighter X Tekken is its way of inviting us to make pairs and impossible combinations.
Because, although there are no preset teams beyond those that offer cinematics in arcade mode, we can freely experiment with the more than 50 fighters included.
It is clear that Capcom’s objective was not only to put all the meat on the grill, but to give the player infinite possibilities and strategies when entering to fight in offline and online modes, as well as crazy possibilities when making combos and auctions. And, in this aspect, Yoshinori Ono’s team showed off the beauty of it.
However, it is not all that glitters . Even if it is an explosive effect when casting a Super Art.
How Capcom’s worst face tarnished a dream game
The Street Fighter X Tekken fighting festival was overshadowed even before its release, and it didn’t have much to do with what was on offer but rather with what was intentionally left out of the game. Or rather, out of the player’s reach.
From the start, Capcom ensured the exclusivity of five fighters to the PS3 version, two of which, Mega Man and Pac-Man no less, were present (although inaccessible) in the Xbox 360 versions. At that time, that was a ugly for half the fans of both sagas.
Perhaps, to some extent, it is possible to defend the issue of exclusive content. Especially when Cole MacGrath, Toro the Cat and Kuro are characters associated with the PlayStation consoles. What is not so justifiable is that the 12 post-launch characters of the game itself were already included on the game disc and could only be unlocked with payment.
Capcom had intentionally withdrawn access to no less than a dozen fighters whose models and attacks were present in every copy of Street Fighter X Tekken. And what is even more surreal: those who had tampered with their copies had access to them long before they were put on sale. That was a slap to the unconditional fan.
As a detail to take into account, on PS3 it was possible to access these fighters by also getting the PS Vita edition of the game. But, of course, that did not make the matter any less ugly: this promotion involved purchasing an additional copy of the game.
The theme of the fighters was the hardest hit to the player, but not the only one: among the huge variety of paid content in the game we found the possibility of acquiring combos editors, additional tools for combos editors, extra colors to customize the fighters that we already have and, to top it all, really powerful gems that totally broke the competitive balance of the game.
Definitely, Street Fighter X Tekken showed the less friendly face of a Capcom that took advantage of this celebration of the legacy of two historical sagas to introduce monetization policies that were not well received by anyone.
Some amazing trailers that showed that both universes coexisted wonderfully
Although the post-launch content policy of Street Fighter X Tekken was as brutal as it was dire, it must be recognized that Capcom put a special care when it came to colliding both universes. Not only through a unified artistic section or scenarios that are pure fanservice, but also through one of the best campaigns ever made for a fighting game.
Both Yoshinori Ono and Katsuhiro Harada entered the game showing fans an uncompromising rivalry across all events and loads of trailers. They even made a couple of cameos in the game itself. But the cinematic videos prepared by Capcom deserve a separate version.
Because, although the plot of Street Fighter X Tekken is still an excuse to bring both universes together, the way of mixing them through short stories elaborated with extra affection and creativity was really amazing.
Through shorts in which action, epicity and, when appropriate, humor took center stage, we saw how the personality of arcade heroes emerges as if both sagas had always been part of the same universe. Always cementing and in each advance the central theme of the game itself: the rivalry between Street Fighter and Tekken.
Of course, each video was born with the triple purpose of promoting the game, introducing new fighters and additions to the selectable panel and, in the process, raising a growing hype. Giving fans of both sagas short cinematics that are pure fanservice.
That said, the best thing about Street Fighter X Tekken was not its cinematic shorts, but all the innovations that dared to make in the field of playability. And they were not exactly few.
Seven absurdly good ideas that were showcased in Street Fighter X Tekken
Street Fighter X Tekken has its own playable identity, and if Capcom was at its worst when it came to monetization, it continued to dazzle by reinventing its own formula for fighting game success with some really interesting input and ideas. Including.
The mechanics of Pandora
A sensational way to turn around the worst circumstances and raise the tension in the final bars of each fight: as long as a fighter’s health is below 25% we can sacrifice it to activate Pandora’s mechanics and increase all the characteristics and attributes of the other and, incidentally, fill their loading bar.
The price to pay is not only the loss of one of our characters, but a timer appears on which we are using that, once consumed, will automatically make us lose. That said, this desperate technique is capable of turning any situation upside down.
Scramble Mode, total madness
Like most Street Fighter X Tekken bonus content, Scramble Mode was only playable on PlayStation. In practice, it is about taking advantage of the pair system to offer fights to four players, each one taking control of a fighter. The result? Chaos and destruction on screen squared.
A crossover in which wrestlers parody their rivals by doing … Cosplay?
While we were expecting additional costumes (for a fee) to be released in-game, one of the funniest elements of Street Fighter X Tekken is its way of paying homage to the opposing faction with makeshift outfits: each of the World Warriors. they dress in what they can to pay tribute to the Tekken fighters, and the Bandai Namco characters reciprocate by doing the same. The result: simply delusional.
The Gems system, good idea but badly executed
The Street Fighter X Tekken Gems were included with the purpose of offering each player a unique fighting style and, in the process, providing them with tools that benefit their characters in new ways. The sad reality is that the best gems were not only sold separately, but the system itself was not well balanced.
In spite of everything, if they had been approached in other ways, they could have offered an idea with really powerful possibilities. It is no coincidence that, many years later, the customization system of Mortal Kombat 11 or the Gougi of Fighting EX Layer took up – intentionally or not – the premise and made it mature.
Cross Assault y los Cross Rush
Although we could unleash Super Combos with the normal sequences or based on charging boosted movements, the true spectacle of Street Fighter X Tekken was in the Cross Assault and the Cross Rush.
- Cross Assaults are a pair movement that begins with an assault by the player we control and concludes with a very powerful attack from the one in reserve, achieving a relief in the process.
- The Cross Rush, on the other hand, allow the two fighters on our team to go out to fight unifying their health bars for a limited time. And that’s not all. During that time they can execute all the super attacks they want.
The simplified and super simplified commands
The way Street Fighter special move sequences were executed might be too cumbersome for Tekken players. Precisely for this reason, Capcom introduced two variants when making them that greatly simplify the way to access the total repertoire of movements of each fighter.
If we add to this a system of personalized auto-combos by pressing two buttons, we find mechanics that are and continue to be a genius.
How Capcom Tackled the Big Time Over Problem
When Street Fighter X Tekken came out, it didn’t take long for players to realize something: when doing the relays, the amount of health recovered by the fighters offside was enormous, and that stretched the fights so much that the number of victories per time was really worrying. That, to a large extent, conditioned the excitement of the games.
After several failed attempts, Capcom managed to find the solution. The year after launch, and with the PS Vita version on the shelves, the Osaka company would make a subtle but very effective adjustment: Releases would slash the amount of regenerable health . Thus, not only did he force himself to seek more melee, but he ended the problem at its roots.
Ten years later, we are still waiting for the return leg
Street Fighter X Tekken continued to receive content and updates on PS3 and Xbox 360 long after its release. Partly to further polish its combat system, but mostly to introduce new paid items. Including quite advantageous autocombos options. In addition, QLoc adapted the game to PC, although without the exclusive content of PlayStation.
Not long after, Capcom itself took advantage of the game’s content related to its own characters and various scenarios to bring them to Ultra Street Fighter IV . Fully adapting them to the game since, according to Ono himself, if they used the mechanics of Street Fighter X Tekken they would be at a great advantage and the balance of the game would be broken.
In many respects, Street Fighter X Tekke n is just as remembered for its highly questionable monetization decisions as it is for its way of successfully reinventing Capcom’s formula, introducing novelties and looks as fun as they are spectacular. The reality is that an impossible balance was sought between two cult sagas and the result, at least in terms of playability, was as spectacular as it was explosive.
Very special mention to the iOS mobile adaptation of Street Fighter X Tekken , which significantly simplified the contents, offered a very successful multiplayer and, despite the visual and hardware limitations, synthesized all the good ideas in a very small panel of fighters but really forceful.
That said, and as we discussed at the beginning, this impossible crossover still has a second round left: Tekken X Street Fighter, Harada and Bandai Namco’s vision of this collision of personalities, has been announced for almost a decade. Its development has been stopped, but the project has not been canceled.
Akuma’s participation in Tekken 7 is the closest thing to the second leg by those responsible for the Bandai Namco saga, and the truth is that his skills and technique give him an additional advantage over the members of the Mishima clan. But, of course, the demon consumed by the Dark Hadou is not just any fighter: he is a bad beast in all the games he has participated in.
That they say that a bird is better than a hundred flying does not take away the illusion of seeing Ryu and Kazuya again solving their differences with punches and explosions. For now, both meet again in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and we are more than sure that it will not be the last time they cross our screens.